You spin me right round, baby, right round
October 31, 2007 3:13 AM   Subscribe

The Fine Art of Japanese Pen Spinning Crazy Japanese experts show their amazing spinning skills. Here's a handy instructional video so you can get your start. A little digging reveals that web resources on this ancient discipline (known in Japan as "rōnin mawashi") indeed are plentiful
posted by psmealey (29 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
Wow, skills.

...and we welcome the day they all become microvascular surgeons (and not, say, CPAs for Hyundai), thereby making the world a better place to live in.
posted by toma at 3:30 AM on October 31, 2007


Warning, loud fucking music on that first link.
posted by notsnot at 3:42 AM on October 31, 2007


Cool post, but is there a reason that "rōnin mawashi" leads to a Chinese Wikipedia link?
posted by bokane at 3:47 AM on October 31, 2007


Cool post, but is there a reason that "rōnin mawashi" leads to a Chinese Wikipedia link?

Was a search result on "rōnin mawashi". No, I cannot tell the difference between written Chinese and Japanese.
posted by psmealey at 4:01 AM on October 31, 2007


oooh! i do this! (copying from hong kong students in high school). need more ideas for techniques! thanks, psmealey!
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:14 AM on October 31, 2007


The 3-4 of the chinese students in my high school were every bit as good as the hands in that first video. 15 years later I still can't mange a simple 360 degree spin.
posted by mrmojoflying at 4:33 AM on October 31, 2007


Whoa .... chick magnet!
posted by R. Mutt at 4:53 AM on October 31, 2007


Previously, on Metafilter.

I think I read that the pen spinning olympics were to be held in London.
posted by asok at 4:53 AM on October 31, 2007


"You're not getting a pen for Christmas, kid. You'll poke your eye out!"

- Santa Claus in A Christmas Story, the Japan release.
posted by Mike D at 4:59 AM on October 31, 2007


Previously, on Metafilter.

Link and tag search turned up nothing... what's a gaijin to do?
posted by psmealey at 5:03 AM on October 31, 2007


"instructional video" is just bragging, though it looks like there are ones in the related list.
posted by DU at 5:04 AM on October 31, 2007


I'm proud to say that my wife is a pretty good pen spinner.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:20 AM on October 31, 2007


When I was in Japan in the late 90s, one of our hosts used to do this in meetings. I was fascinated with it, but could never duplicate what he did.
posted by tommasz at 5:23 AM on October 31, 2007


Heh, so this explains it. I had many students do this.
posted by dreamsign at 5:39 AM on October 31, 2007


When I spent a year in a yeshiva in Israel, sitting hunched over the talmud for 10+ hours a day, it was pretty much expected that with that much sitting, and that little to do with one's hands, eveyone would develop some sort of pen flip or pen trick. New, simple tricks were invented, shown off, and then learned by the masses, while the really complex ones stayed awesome.
posted by milestogo at 6:03 AM on October 31, 2007


Here is the Japanese Wikipedia article.
posted by wobumingbai at 6:27 AM on October 31, 2007


yeah, but can they speed?
posted by dismas at 6:37 AM on October 31, 2007


Notice most of the pens are modded to have weighted ends. The reason you can't do this with your bic is that it doesn't weigh enough. That and you kinda suck.
posted by srboisvert at 6:52 AM on October 31, 2007


I spilled ink on myself.
posted by Pecinpah at 7:13 AM on October 31, 2007


Learning to do a thumb-around pen twirl was one of my greatest high school achievements. Thinking back to how much time and practice it took to get me that far, I wonder how these guys ever find the time to do anything else.
Maybe they don't.
And that's a valid lifestyle choice.
posted by bassjump at 7:23 AM on October 31, 2007


Wonderful! So cool these new agility games. Like hacky sac. Also loved it in the movies when the sexy guy would roll a coin across his knuckles. *oooh thrills* This pen spinning thing has a mesmerising lightness to it.

Check out this awesome, American, full body version.
posted by nickyskye at 7:31 AM on October 31, 2007


*should have said, Canadian, not American.
posted by nickyskye at 7:33 AM on October 31, 2007


I spilled ink on myself.

The International pen spinning governing body FIST (Federation Internationale des Stylos Tournants) recommends not using fountain pens for this activity.
posted by psmealey at 7:40 AM on October 31, 2007


*crash*

hMMmmm doESn;t work so wELL with keydoarbs.....
posted by gomichild at 7:44 AM on October 31, 2007


You know what? Fuck online Internet video and it's 15fps 200kbps crappy horrible quality. That's not pen spinning, that's some vague long blur rotating around some blurry fingers.
posted by Nelson at 7:54 AM on October 31, 2007


Good times. I learned only the most rudimentary of spinning skills during one quarter of Economics. Man I dropped the pen alot.
posted by vito90 at 8:28 AM on October 31, 2007


Another thing I suck at.
posted by jeffamaphone at 8:58 AM on October 31, 2007


hMMmmm doESn;t work so wELL with keydoarbs.....

You know what's a fun party trick? Knives.

My technique isn't nearly to the level of these guys, but it's a hell of a way to make people nervous in restaurants.
posted by dismas at 9:11 AM on October 31, 2007


High school debate camp is another hot-bed of pen spinning advancements.
posted by salvia at 10:48 AM on October 31, 2007


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